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International Indigenous Peoples group backs UN climate expert’s finding on Philippine government


November 16, 2023

Int’l IP group backs UN climate expert’s finding on PH gov’t impunity

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) welcomes the UN Special Rapporteur Ian Fry’s recommendation to the Philippine government to “disband” its anti-communist task force, and address the attacks against environment defenders including civil society organizations and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Climate Change & Human Rights shared his initial findings in a press conference on November 15 following his official 10-day visit in the Philippines. 

Among the Special Rapporteur’s other recommendation includes:

1. Abolish the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC);

2. Repeal the Anti-Terrorism Law (ATL);

3. Implement the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women General Recommendations 39;

4. Implement major reforms to the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples; and

5. Enact Human Rights Defenders Bill

For IPMSDL, these recommendations come timely when enforced disappearances, mass arrests & trumped up charges, and intensive military operations are ongoing non-stop with Indigenous Peoples being one of the primary targets of these attacks.

The IPMSDL joins our partners, allies, and member organizations in the Philippines who have long been calling for the abolition of the NTF-ELCAC and the NCIP, and the repeal of the ATL. These institutions and instruments have long been weaponized against IP leaders, communities, organizations and advocates, and with the UNSR Fry’s report, IPMSDL will keep an eye on how major reforms will be immediately implemented by the Philippine government.

With the COP28 happening in less than two weeks, UNSR Fry’s recent findings should further amplify the alarming trend of criminalization, terrorist-tagging and attacks against Indigenous Peoples worldwide. IPMSDL demands world leaders to seriously take action in upholding Indigenous Peoples right to defend their right to land, waters, resources and territories. Their exercise of their right to self-determination is not a criminal nor a terrorist act but ultimately a key climate solution. 

Beverly Longid, 

Co-Convenor, Int’l IPMSDL

Jiten Yumnam
Co-Convenor, Int’l IPMSDL